Capeel Turns 125 Capeel Turns 125

Tuesday 4th December, 2007 marked the occasion of the 125th anniversary since the first train travelled to Capella. This date is officially recognised as the birth of Capella as a township.

A survey of the proposed line from Emerald Downs to Clermont was completed prior to February, 1879, and was approved by Parliament on September 22nd, 1880.

According to a cutting from The Peak Downs Telegram and Copperfield Miner dated November 4th, 1882, from the Capella Notes: “It will interest you to know that we can boast a street. On the south side of the line stand the Government buildings – station, station master’s home, woolshed and offices. On the north side of the line are three hotels, four general stores, two blacksmith’s shops, and a number of detached buildings including those occupied by butchers, bakers, saddlers, etc. Much speculation is indulged in concerning our future. Some think that we shall rival Clermont, and get our own law and police offices, a separate Divisional Board, and other items. Others again say Capella is altogether over-rated, that after the line is open to Retro – and it will be in three months – Capella will grow less.

Taken from the Peak Downs Telegram and Copperfield Miner, dated, December 9th, 1882: “The first section of the Clermont Railway, from Emerald to Capella, was opened to public traffic on Monday last, the 4th inst. The occasion was not marked by any public demonstration. The day passed over with almost unbroken stillness, the only signs of industrial life being the operations of a few carpenters on the railway buildings and storing of a few bales of wool. Between five and six p.m., three trains arrived, the last having the Union Jack conspicuously displayed on front of the locomotive… The township, after dark, was crowded by visitors from the surrounding camps. A ball at Slider’s Hotel was patronised until the small hours. A detachment of police had little or no employment.

A book commemorating Capella’s 125 years, compiled by Heather Garside and John White, is available from the Capella Council Offices or Capella Newsagency.